Profiles in Courage

Sgt Michael Wynn, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1970)

Sgt Michael Wynn, U.S. Marine Corps (1966-1970)

Michael Wynn is a Marine Sargeant, a four-year USMC volunteer, of First Battalion, Third Marines, hailing from Marion, Ohio who took part in Operation Ballistic Charge near Dai Loc, in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. He shared a history of his motivation to join the Marine Corps which was a mixture of patriotism and seeking excitement and adventure. Michael Wynn's Childhood "My name is Mike Wynn and I was born on January 17, 1947. I grew up in Marion, Ohio, and attended Olney Ave....

read more
Capt Stephen Decatur, U.S. Navy (1798–1820)

Capt Stephen Decatur, U.S. Navy (1798–1820)

In the world of American Naval heroes, few figures loom as large over Navy history as that of Stephen Decatur. He was among the first American military heroes to come to prominence after the American Revolution, the youngest sailor ever promoted to Captain in U.S. Navy history, and a veteran of three wars. With every battle in every war he fought, Stephen Decatur's service exemplified the heroism and bravery of the Navy, no matter what his rank he was at the time. Stephen Decatur Was Brought...

read more
PFC Oscar Palmer Austin, U.S. Marine Corps (1968 – 1969)

PFC Oscar Palmer Austin, U.S. Marine Corps (1968 – 1969)

One of the bravest, most extraordinary acts of valor American troops are known to do in combat is throwing themselves on a grenade to save their brothers and sisters in arms. Few survive such a selfless act of heroism. Even fewer get the opportunity to risk sacrificing their lives for a fellow service member twice. Oscar Palmer Austin was a Marine who did just that. It happened on the same fiery night in Vietnam, and he did it to save the same person. For his selfless bravery in saving...

read more
Lt. Col. James Rowe, U.S. Army (1958 – 1989)

Lt. Col. James Rowe, U.S. Army (1958 – 1989)

Throughout the Vietnam War, the United States estimated that more than 2,500 American service members were taken prisoner or went missing during the Vietnam War. North Vietnam acknowledged only 687 of those unaccounted for. Most of them were returned during Operation Homecoming in 1973 after the Paris Peace Accords ended U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Of those 687, only 36 U.S. troops managed to escape their captors in North Vietnam and Laos. Of course, there were other attempts, but only those...

read more
John W. Hinson – A Civil War Sniper Hell Bent on Revenge

John W. Hinson – A Civil War Sniper Hell Bent on Revenge

John W. Hinson, better known as "Old Jack" to his family, was a prosperous farmer in Stewart County, Tennessee. A non-political man, he opposed secession from the Union even though he owned slaves. Friends and neighbors described him as a peaceable man, yet despite all this, he would end up going on a one-man killing spree. Jack's plantation was called Bubbling Springs, where he lived with his wife and ten children. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he was fiercely determined to remain...

read more
The Dogs of the Vietnam War

The Dogs of the Vietnam War

Former dog sentry handler Richard Cunningham shared a history about well-trained dogs as a new kind of warfare. In the Vietnam War about 350 dogs were killed in action and 263 handlers were killed. When U.S. forces exited from Vietnam only 200 of the dogs made it back to the states. "I would wager that 90 percent of American combat troops killed in action during the Vietnam War never saw their killers. Whether it was a sniper at 200 yards, a rocket fired into a base camp or an attack from a...

read more
Eileen Nearne – British WWII Heroine

Eileen Nearne – British WWII Heroine

The "Croix de Guerre" or "Cross of War," is a French military decoration honoring people for their resistance against the Nazis in WWII. Furthermore, being appointed a "Member of the Order of the British Empire" by King George VI for services rendered in France during the enemy occupation was a high British honor. Any man who was awarded such honors must have been a remarkable one. Only, in this case, we are dealing with a woman and a brave and tenacious one at that. The Perilous Life of...

read more
Cpt Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Cpt Humbert Roque “Rocky” Versace, U.S. Army (1959–1965) – Medal of Honor Recipient

Captain Humbert Roque Versace, affectionately called "Rocky," was an officer of the United States Army. He went on to receive the Medal of Honor-the greatest military decoration of the United States-for the heroic actions he undertook as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War. Puerto Rican-Italian by descent, he was the first member of the U.S. Army to have ever received such a distinction. Born on July 2, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Humbert Roque Versace was the eldest of five children....

read more
Col Merryl Tengesdal, U.S. Air Force (1994-2017) – U2 Pilot

Col Merryl Tengesdal, U.S. Air Force (1994-2017) – U2 Pilot

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Merryl Tengesdal is the first African American female U-2 pilot in history and is the first African American woman to fly the Air Force's U-2 Dragon Lady Spy Plane. She is the only black woman alongside five white women and two black men to fly spy planes. Merryl Tengesdal was born Merryl David in 1971 in the Bronx, New York. She excelled in math and science classes in grade school and high school and graduated from the University of New Haven in Connecticut in...

read more
SFC Leigh Ann Hester, U.S. Army (2001-Present) – Silver Star Recipient

SFC Leigh Ann Hester, U.S. Army (2001-Present) – Silver Star Recipient

On the morning of March 20, 2005, then-Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester was tasked with assisting a supply convoy moving east of Baghdad, a job that meant scanning and clearing the route of any improvised explosive devices. She'd done this job countless times before, getting shot at on almost a daily basis and seeing vehicles blown up more times than anyone would like to remember. Leigh Ann Hester Was Cited for Valor in Close Quarters Combat Executing daily patrols as a member of the National Guard's...

read more
SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959-1989) – MOH Recipient

SFC Fred Willam Zabitosky, U.S. Army (1959-1989) – MOH Recipient

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. SFC Fred Zabitosky, US Army, distinguished himself while serving as an assistant team leader of a nine-man Special Forces long-range reconnaissance patrol. SFC Zabitosky's patrol was operating deep within the enemy-controlled territory in Laos when they were attacked by a numerically superior North Vietnamese Army unit.  SFC Fred Zabitosky repeatedly exposed himself to North...

read more